DASC Symphony Founder & Director
Director | The Holiday Session (all dates)
Sarah Jylkka is a Denver-based professional violinist and violist with over 15 years of experience. She has taught at El Sistema Colorado and served as an orchestra director for Mapleton Public Schools in Thornton, CO from 2017-2021. She is active in the Colorado orchestra world serving as an instrumental coach, private teacher, orchestra clinician, and violinist in the Arapahoe Philharmonic.
Sarah holds both a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from DePauw University in Greencastle, IN as well as an active Colorado State Teacher's License endorsed in K-12 instrumental music. She is a professional member of the American String Teachers Association and Suzuki Association of the Americas. Notably, Sarah has performed with members of Elephant Revival, LVDY, Stratus, The Blind Cafe Orchestra, Su Teatro, Suhl Ensemble, recorded SFX for Mt. Mograph, and has designed sound for both The Pandemic Collective and Bewilderment Theater Company. Sarah has studied under Ericka Dicker, Tarn Travers, Julia Taylor, and Allie Krall of Yonder Mountain String Band.
Sarah currently runs a home studio and teaches and performs throughout the Denver metro area as well as teaching violin remotely through Trala Violin. You can see Sarah perform violin around Colorado with the viking rock band, Nordic Daughter.
Coach | The Holiday Session (December 23rd)
Rebecca Jonas is an active musician, educator, and mental health advocate with a strong background in cello performance and public school teaching. Originally from the East Coast, she received a B.M. in Cello Performance from Mercyhurst University, and an M.S. in Music
Education from Mansfield University. She recently graduated with her M.A. in Counseling from Colorado University at Denver. She taught elementary through high school strings in Spotsylvania and Prince William County School systems in Northern Virginia After moving to
Colorado in 2009, Rebecca taught in St. Vrain Valley School District, Denver Public Schools, and Douglas County School District. Throughout her time in the public schools Rebecca became known for offering fun and diverse ensembles and experiences for her students, high quality performances for audiences to enjoy, and interacting with the local community in innovative ways.
Rebecca maintains an active and varied performance career, balancing her time between classical and non-classical scenes. She can often be seen along the Front Range performing. In her spare, non-musical time, she enjoys baking, reading, and hiking with her crazy dog Holly.
Coach | The Holiday Session (November 29th)
Olasuyi Ige is a violinist and an inspiring educator who received his Bachelor’s
in Violin Performance from the University of Denver Lamont School of Music
(Manga Cum Laude). He is currently pursuing his Masters in violin performance and composition at the Lamont School of Music under the instruction of Igor Pikayzen and Sean Friar.
As a violinist, Olasuyi has performed many works by Beethoven, Brahms,
William Grant Still, Mozart, and Wieniawski. Venues that Olasuyi has performed in includes Dazzle Jazz Club, Gates Concert Hall, and Hamilton Recital Hall. Olasuyi enjoys working with the nonprofit organization called El Sistema Colorado that provides group and private music lessons to underrepresented youth in the Denver area. Teaching is one of Olasuyi’s passions and he enjoys seeing previous and current students share their love for music and learning.
Over the years he has been to many music festivals such as Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy (PRISMA) in Powell River, Canada, Interlochen Arts Camp in Interlochen, Michigan, and Sphinx Summer Academy in Chicago, Illinois.
When he is not performing or teaching Olasuyi likes to write and arrange
chamber music for both chamber groups and larger ensembles.
Coach | The Holiday Session (November 29th & December 23rd)
Lindsay teaches private violin and viola lessons from her home studio in Denver, Colorado and is the Outreach and Education Coordinator for Augustana Arts. She is currently President-Elect for Colorado American String Teachers Association. Prior to these positions, she taught orchestra at the public school level, most recently as an elementary and middle school orchestra director at Westminster Public Schools. Prior to this position, she served as the Head Orchestra Director at Mapleton Public Schools and taught at El Sistema Colorado as the String Teaching Artist.
Lindsay is very active in the music education community. She is currently the Outreach and Education Coordinator for Augustana Arts – City Strings helping bring music education to underserved communities, is the President-Elect for the Colorado American String Teachers Association, is on the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) Private Studio Committee,
served as a mentor for the ASTA New Teacher Mentor Program and has served as the Secretary of the Colorado American String Teachers Association. She is a published author in the ASTA Journal and has presented sessions at the American String Teachers Association National Conference, the Colorado Music Educators Association Conference as well as the Colorado American String Teachers Association Summer Conference.
She was the recipient of the Mapleton Public School’s Teacher of the Year Award in 2015 and was given the Colorado American String Teachers Association’s Exemplary Middle School and Junior High School Teacher Award in 2012.
Lindsay can be seen performing on her viola throughout Colorado in a variety of capacities. Most recently, Lindsay performed with the Boulder Symphony Orchestra as principal viola, the Denver Philharmonic where she played both section violist and principal violist, Stratus Chamber Orchestra Arapahoe Philharmonic, Evergreen Chamber Orchestra and the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra.
Coach | The Holiday Session (December 10th & December 23rd)
Joseph Engel is a performer and educator in Colorado. He has a background in classical and contemporary cello styles, and is always seeking new sound worlds with the cello. He is a member of the Denver based eclectic-rock band, "Milquetoast & Co." and has shared the stage with artists such as The Sugar Hill Gang and Wilco. As an educator, Joseph incorporates many teaching philosophies, including those inspired by non-western musics and meditation. He holds a Masters of Music in cello performance from Denver University, where he has acted as a visiting lecturer.
Coach | The Holiday Session (December 10th)
Laena Grace Batchelder is a violinist, musician, and social justice advocate. Following her mission to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in classical music, she has programmed works by female, minority, contemporary, and non-traditional composers in her recitals including her honors project recital, Women of American Chamber Music. She believes in combining classical and popular music to appeal to wider audiences which she has implemented in recitals and YouTube videos. Laena also aims to apply these ideals to her teaching in her private studio. She learned violin from age six with the Suzuki Method, so that philosophy and repertoire are very present in her teaching. She has also been trained in teaching the method through Book 2. However, she incorporates many other methods and has assigned pieces from Music by Black Composers and the Barbara Barber method books as well as arrangements of popular songs.
Laena graduated with a Master of Music at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) studying with Charles Wetherbee. Her studies there focused on chamber music, string pedagogy, and expanding her own technique and repertoire. Previously, she graduated from Texas Christian University (TCU) in her hometown of Fort Worth, Texas with a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance (summa cum laude). She studied with Elisabeth Adkins at TCU and with Martha Walvoord during her high school years. She has attended summer festivals such as Wintergreen, the Texas Music Festival, the TCU Quartet Intensive, and the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute. She is also a section violinist with the Boulder Symphony and the Arapahoe Philharmonic.
In addition to music, Laena enjoys reading, knitting, swing dancing, progressive politics, and hanging out with her friends.
On-site Coordinator (all dates)
Born and raised in West Virginia, Robbie is a neurology research coordinator,
technology hobbyist, and military veteran.
Robbie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Certificate in Gerontology from West Virginia University. Robbie has 12 years of experience in the Army National Guard as a horizontal engineer with involvement in the United Status, Perú, Poland, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. Although a lover of nearly every genre of music, Robbie’s favorite genres include 90s/early 2000s country/rap, [nu] metal, golden oldies, and industrial-ish techo.